Georgia tax refund: What to know about extra state income tax refund, how much you’ll get

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill Wednesday that will return some of a record budget surplus back to Georgia taxpayers.

House Bill 1302 will give a $250 refund to single filers, $375 to single adults who head a household with dependents and $500 to married couples filing jointly. The refund will only be paid to people who filed tax returns for both the 2020 and 2021 tax years.

In brief remarks as he signed the bill, Kemp saluted lawmakers for agreeing to “this great relief that we’re fixing to get hard working Georgians, returning over a billion dollars of their hard earned money that quite honestly, we didn’t need this year.”

The income tax refunds had originally been estimated to cost $1.6 billion, but that amount was revised down to $1.1 billion in a March 9 estimate.

Here is everything you need to know about the refund:

What is the HB 1302 Tax Refund?

HB 1302 allows Georgia taxpayers a refund of some or all of the 2020 income taxes due. The Georgia General Assembly recently passed, and Governor Kemp signed, legislation allowing for an additional refund of income taxes from 2020 because the state has experienced a revenue surplus.

How do I know how much I might receive from this refund?

Please refer to your 2020 income tax return. If you filed a Form 500, the amount will be based on your tax liability listed on line 16. If you filed using Form 500EZ, the amount will be based on your tax liability listed on line 4. Tax liability is the amount of tax owed on the return before credit for any withholding, tax credits or other tax payments. Remember, you will not receive more than the maximums listed below.

What is the maximum I can receive for this refund?

It depends on your filing status. Single filers and married individuals who file separately could receive a maximum refund of $250. Head of Household filers could receive a maximum refund of $375. Married individuals who file joint returns could receive a maximum refund of $500.

Example: A Single taxpayer filed a timely 2020 income tax return with a tax liability of $300. The taxpayer filed a timely 2021 return and would be eligible to receive a refund of 2020 taxes in the amount of $250. HB 1302 only allows a maximum refund of $250 for Single filers.

What if my tax liability was less than these amounts in 2020, do I still get the maximum amount?

No, if you owed less than the maximum amounts listed above, you will only receive a refund for the amount of your actual tax liability.

Example: A Single taxpayer filed a timely 2020 income tax return with a tax liability of $200. The taxpayer filed a timely 2021 return and is eligible to receive a refund of 2020 taxes in the amount of $200. Although the maximum allowable refund is $250 for taxpayers who file Single, the taxpayer cannot receive a refund of more than the actual tax liability of $200.

What do I need to do to qualify?

You need to have filed your 2020 return and your 2021 return by the deadline for filing the 2021 return (including any extension granted by the Department of Revenue).

Who’s eligible for the tax refund?

Any Georgian who was a full-year resident in 2020 and 2021 and who also filed a Georgia individual income tax return for 2020 and 2021 is eligible for the refund. Part-year filers who file individual tax returns for both years (2020 and 2021) will be eligible for a proportional refund equal to the maximum amounts based on filing status multiplied by the share of their income taxable in Georgia.

When will I receive this refund?

House Bill 1302 was signed into law by Governor Kemp on March 23, 2022, so some taxpayers may have already filed their 2021 returns. The Department of Revenue will attempt to include the HB 1302 refund along with other refund amounts due. For taxpayers whose 2021 returns have already been processed, the Department of Revenue will issue a separate refund.

I already filed my 2021 return and received my 2021 refund. What do I need to do to claim the H.B. 1302 Refund?

Nothing. The Department of Revenue will automatically update your account and will send the refund to your designated bank account or by check if you did not receive your most recent refund by direct deposit to a designated bank account.

I was a dependent during the 2020 tax year but filed a 2021 return. Do I receive an H.B. 1302 refund?

No, even though you filed a 2021 return, HB 1302 does not allow individuals who were dependents on another individual’s return in 2020 to receive a refund for these amounts.

Do part-year residents and taxable nonresidents qualify?

Yes, but the refunds will be prorated in the same manner as tax liabilities are prorated for such taxpayers.

I filed my return using an ITIN number rather than a Social Security Number. Do I qualify to receive this refund?

Maybe. Taxpayers who utilized an ITIN number on their 2020 return will receive a letter from the Department requesting additional information to determine if they qualify. This letter will be sent to Single, Heads of Household, and Married Filing Joint if the return is filed under an ITIN, including Married Filing Joint where only one individual of the joint return uses an ITIN number.

What might reduce the amount of a refund?

Under HB 1302, any refund due would be subject to offset first against existing liabilities owed to the state. Any remaining amount will be refunded to the taxpayer. However, a refund may also be subject to set off debt collection or payments owed to the state such as delinquent child support payments.

Information from this article from the Georgia Department of Revenue. The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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